The phobia

The phobia

My name is Adaku, and I found a blessing in this curse called covid 19.

I have scolionophobia. It simply means I’m afraid of school and no, it’s not what you’re thinking. Everybody is afraid of school, I know that, but my fear was different. It was caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain.

Of course when I was first diagnosed, my parents weren’t having any of it. They called it “Oyinbo” disease. They believed that any disease with a strange name, as strange as this one, belonged in the white man’s land. They only thing we Africans could contact was Malaria.

So they made excuses for every symptom I exhibited. The profuse sweating, high pulse, shaking, anger, nervousness, all symptoms that could easily be associated with fear, my parents had something else to say about it. The doctor’s in this state only made things worse.

I was diagnosed with all kinds of illnesses. Typhoid, malaria, Cholera, one doctor even said I was just looking for attention.

But somehow I knew I had a real problem. The mere thought of school made all the muscles in my body tighten. One second, I’m fine and the next I’m short of breath and I feel like I’m drowning. I could almost taste the fear in my mouth. It was a bitter, terrible feeling. The fear used to consume me and I hated my life.

For years, I was on all kinds of medication. Medications that were beginning to take a toll on my internal organs and subsequently my health. Then a miracle happened. The virus outbreak that saved my life.

The symptoms of covid 19 were scarily similar to my condition. Shortness of breath, sweating, shaking,. Then I had an attack in school just before exams, worse than I’d ever had it before.

I was rushed to the hospital only because I was suspected to have the virus. That was were a foreign doctor who came to treat patients with the virus diagnosed me of scolionophobia. He said if I had continued to take all those drugs that were prescribed for malaria and typhoid, I would have been dead in weeks. The drugs were killing my kidneys and continuing them would have eventually killed me.

If there wasn’t a virus outbreak, I would have been dead from a failed kidney.

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